Big gains to be made by a trip to Gainsborough with Stagecoach

Stagecoach’s East Midlands company, the doyen of great customer service for the bus sector, hosts some fabulous bus journeys across scenic Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire countryside, to fab market towns and great cities. One of the most enjoyable of routes is the 97 which runs from Retford to Gainsborough, a market town nestled on the banks of the River Trent in Lincolnshire and a place which offers a delightful blend of historical charm, vibrant culture, and modern amenities.

Often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours, Gainsborough is a hidden gem that invites visitors to discover its rich history, scenic landscapes, and welcoming atmosphere…

A storied past 

A visit to Gainsborough must begin with its most iconic landmark, Gainsborough Old Hall. This medieval manor house, one of the best-preserved in England, dates back to the 15th century and offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. With its stunning timber frame, grand hall, and intricate interiors, the Old Hall is a must-see for history enthusiasts. The interactive exhibits and guided tours bring the history to life, recounting tales of royal visits, including one by King Henry VIII.

The town’s connection to history doesn’t end there. Gainsborough played a significant role in the English Civil War, with the Battle of Gainsborough being fought on its grounds. The town also has ties to the Pilgrims who settled in America, as the nearby village of Scrooby was home to some of the group’s members. A visit to the Gainsborough Heritage Centre offers more insights into the town’s storied past, with exhibits detailing its industrial heritage and local history.

Nature lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Gainsborough. The River Trent provides a picturesque setting for leisurely walks, picnics, and boating. Riverside Park is a beautiful spot to relax, with its well-maintained gardens, children’s play area, and tranquil views of the water. For a more immersive natural experience, a trip to the nearby Lincolnshire Wolds is a must. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers rolling hills, charming villages, and scenic trails perfect for hiking and cycling.

Marvel at this marvellous market town!

Gainsborough’s market town charm is evident in its shopping and dining options. The town centre boasts a mix of high street stores and independent shops, offering everything from fashion and homeware to unique gifts and antiques. Marshall’s Yard, a beautifully restored former ironworks, is now a bustling retail and leisure complex featuring a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy or enjoy a leisurely meal.

Style in super settings

When it comes to dining, Gainsborough has something to suit every palate. For a fine dining experience, the Hickman Hill Hotel offers a sophisticated menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and expertly crafted dishes. For a more casual meal, the White Hart Hotel is a local favourite, serving up hearty British fare in a cosy, welcoming atmosphere. If you’re in the mood for international cuisine, the renowned chain, Prezzo offers delicious Italian dishes in a stylish setting, while Clock House offers a delightful tearoom experience with homemade cakes and afternoon tea.

Gainsborough also boasts a lively pub scene. The Elm Cottage, a charming traditional pub, is known for its friendly atmosphere and selection of real ales. The Sun Inn is another popular spot, offering live music, quiz nights, and a warm, welcoming environment. For those looking to experience something a bit different, the Town Hall Bar & Kitchen combines a stylish setting with an extensive cocktail menu and live entertainment.

Gainsborough is an illuminating sporting trinity

Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them occupied in Gainsborough. The town is home to Gainsborough Trinity Football Club, which plays in the Northern Premier League. Watching a match at the Northolme stadium is a great way to experience the local sports culture and support the home team. For those who prefer participating over spectating, Gainsborough offers a range of sports facilities, including the West Lindsey Leisure Centre, which features a swimming pool, gym, and various fitness classes.

Gainsborough has been associated with several notable figures throughout history. One of the most famous is the artist Thomas Gainsborough, after whom the town is often mistakenly thought to be named. Though he was not born in the town, his works and legacy have a significant impact on the region. Another prominent figure is the aviation pioneer Sir Frank Whittle, who spent part of his early life in Gainsborough and later went on to invent the jet engine.

The town’s quirky and obscure historical facts add to its unique charm. For instance, Gainsborough is home to the oldest public house in Lincolnshire, The White Hart, which dates back to the 14th century. The town also boasts the smallest chapel in England, the Old Hall Chapel, which is a quaint and picturesque spot worth visiting. Additionally, Gainsborough’s connection to the Mayflower Pilgrims is celebrated each year with the Illuminate Festival, a vibrant event that includes lantern parades, live music, and community activities.

In modern times, Gainsborough continues to evolve and thrive. The town has embraced a spirit of community and innovation, with numerous events and festivals that bring residents and visitors together. The annual Riverside Festival, held in the summer, features live music, food stalls, and family-friendly activities, transforming the town into a bustling hub of entertainment and fun. The Christmas lights switch-on event is another highlight, with festive markets, carol singing, and a spectacular fireworks display.

It’s not just the fireworks that are spectacular, Stagecoach’s scenic sojourns across the Region are something else and to plan your journey, go to 97 Gainsborough – Retford – Great Scenic Journeys